Daddy Poppins loves films of all kinds but one of his favourite genres is horror. The following is a list of films he’d watch again (if he’s ever awake enough once his nocturnal kids have finally gone to sleep, that is).
So this Halloween, get the kids in bed, snuggle up on the couch, turn off all the lights and get stuck into one of these scary films…. (hopefully there’s something here you’ve missed out on)
One of the best ‘possession/paranormal investigation’ style films of recent times (2013 to be exact). It’s loosely based on the Warrens and it’s full of tension with just enough jump scares to keep your heart pounding. Well worth a watch.
You may have passed this one over, I know I did, but it’s great. Its about a teenage girl who gets pursued by an entity after a one night stand, the only way to get rid of this entity appears to be to pass it on to someone else in the same way. It’s available now on Netflix and ticks all the boxes to scare the pants off you.
- Creepy soundtrack ✅
- Supernatural unstoppable force ✅
- Slow deliberate killer ✅
1 of only 2 foreign language films on the list (although I did come close to also including both Them and Let the right one in). It’s a cracker of a film (even for those scared of subtitles) and once it gets going you’ll forget it’s in Portuguese. In my opinion this is the best ‘found footage/camcorder view’ horror movie out there (its 10 times the film the Blair Witch will ever be). Its about a documentary crew going out on the job with a group of firefighters in Barcelona, lets just say it isn’t a normal call out. If you haven’t seen it then you should.
This one gave my wife (the Bear) the ‘heebie-jeebies’ for weeks after watching it. Basically, some backpackers take a lift from the wrong man deep in the Australian outback. If a more realistic horror film rather than a supernatural one gets your heart pumping then I can highly recommend it. The Bear does not recommend it. That’s how real and frightening it is
I’m plumping for the recent version, now hear me out, I love the original trilogy but in 2017 they just aren’t scary. They’re comedy horror in my book and so aren’t on this list for the same reason as the likes of Shaun of the Dead isn’t. It’s Halloween people!! Get yourself scared by the remake, the intro of which (see video below) is unbelievable!! oh and its available on Netflix too. #bonus
30 Days of Night:
What a concept!! Trapped in a village in northern Alaska that experiences no daylight for 30 days during the winter. You’re a veritable ‘vampire buffet’. It’s really well made too. The scene where the person is being stalked through the streets is top notch and there’s jump scares to beat the band. (It was my ‘kids are in bed’ film last Halloween). The whole film is on youtube ssssshhhhh!!
28 Days Later:
is a classic, a modern zombie apocalypse film with substance and style. How can you not love a Danny Boyle Zombie flick? Yes, I know, I could have included ‘Dawn of the Dead’ or any of the original George A. Romero zombie classics but once again I feel the effects are dated to the point that they’re no longer frightening. The scene where he wakes up in a deserted central London is brilliantly done.
Boom, Wes Craven eh? The man is a legend. If you are looking for a high quality flashy ‘Hollywood horror’ then this is the way to go. Some really iconic scenes (like the Drew Barrymore intro). I presume you haven’t been living in a cave and have already seen it. And I understand it’s a real ‘watch once, who done it’ kinda film but when did you last see it eh? It’s 21 years old now after all!! How many jump scares have you forgotten? Maybe it is worth a second look? Or maybe you have a teen you’d like to scare the pants off!!
Creepy as be damned, This Hollywood remake is a class act, worth another watch for that ‘TV scene’ alone. God she’s scary.
The second James Wan film on the list and another modern classic of horror cinema, made for peanuts, with a great twist and plenty of moral dilemmas and gore thrown in. Brilliant the first time around, well worth another viewing.
Stephen King wrote all the best horror/thrillers when I was a teen (IT, Kujo, Salem’s Lot, The Fog, Misery) but Stanley Kubrick’s ‘the Shining’ is his stand out film for me. Jack Nicholson’s decent into madness is pretty much perfect. What horror films list would be complete without it. “Heeeeerrrreeeee’s Johnny!!”
I watched this recently and thought it was great, a real creepy, atmospheric psychological story full of racial tension. Gripping stuff. (OK the ending isn’t as good as the build-up, but it doesn’t descend into farce like, say, Jeepers Creepers).
The quintessential ‘space horror’ (No, I’m not forgetting Event Horizon’), sometimes omitted from these type of lists due to its setting (but remember, “in space no one can hear you scream”) I defy you not to be scared while watching this masterpiece. How can I include this in your list and leave out other older classics? I hear you ask. Well, Sir Ridley Scott’s clever use of darkness and hiding our view of the alien itself means the effects have stood the test of time better than some other films of its time. Plus it gets your blood pumping no matter how many times you’ve seen it (Yes, I’ll accept the argument that Aliens was perhaps a better film, but it didn’t have that ‘chestburster scene’ did it??)
An absolute classic. The ‘you’re being watched’ camera angles and that creepy piano soundtrack racks up the tension till the blood starts flowing and Michael Meyers racks up the body count. Jamie Lee Curtis shows us why she is the queen of ‘scream queens’ in this timeless masterpiece. It’ll be on the TV around Halloween, or I’ll eat my hat. (The new Rob Zombie version isn’t bad either)
Nightmare on Elm Street:
Wes Craven makes my list again. This scared the life out of me as a child/teen. We all have to sleep, yeah? So how do you escape from a monster that attacks you in your dreams? OK, I haven’t watched this one in a long time. Maybe it’s incredibly dated and my reasoning for not including some other films is flawed but on the flip side ..“1,2 Freddie’s coming for you”.
Texas Chainsaw Massacre:
What’s scarier than crazy mutated rednecks with a penchant for murdering. OK besides Donald Trump having access to the nuclear codes. (If it has to be more modern for you then the 2010 version isn’t too bad either)
The grandfather of horror, gripping. The effects in this have stood the test of time (to a point). OK, it really doesn’t get going till (as the name suggests) the exorcism starts but it’s ‘head twistingly’ good.
Side note: do not eat pea soup while watching it.
Who says Stephen Spielberg only does kids films,eh? Such an iconic film, even mentioning it makes you think “Du, De, Du, De, Du, De” (the scariest 2 piano keys ever!) Once again the power of this film is it’s realism. There’s nothing supernatural involved, just a big bloody shark. Even when swimming in the Irish Sea it still makes me jump when I feel something touch my leg. It’s embedded in my mind. A classic.
Dare you say his name 5 times in the mirror? This is a sometimes forgotten horror classic. From the initial overhead ‘shining-esque’ car footage to the creepy urban myths and excellent ‘police station’ scene, this film has everything you want in a horror. (OK, maybe not the bees but I’ll get over it 😉)
Right Folks, I’m kinda breaking my ‘has to scare the pants off you’ rule a tad. But this is a hell of a story, I love Guillermo del Toro, what a director! If you haven’t seen this film then get on it straight away. It is in Spanish but once again you’ll forget it’s in a different language in minutes. It’s a very dark modern day fairy tale set in Franco’s Spain that packs a hell of a punch. Top notch.
That’s it. 20 scary films. (Sorry about the loading time but I really wanted a video preview of them all). I could have included 20 more but really long lists bore the crap outta me and I’m assuming you feel the same.
I’d love you to tell me what’s missing in your opinion or watch something you’ve missed and let me know what you thought in the comments.
Till next time.
Daddy P, out